I’ve just sent Deadlines and Dryads off to my copyeditor, which means for the first time in 2+ months, I have a breather in the middle of my workday. Huzzah!
The first thing I did was write myself a list of how D&D got made, because here’s the thing: I haven’t created two books using the exact same process. Not only that, every time I start a new book, it feels like I have to relearn my process. The intervening time between, say, writing the first draft of one book and the next, can be months, and my memory is good at painting a rosy picture of the past. I forget how much I agonized over the outline of a book and the first draft. I gloss over how extensive the edits were. The making of a book melds into a blur, and I’m guilty of beginning to believe creating the previous book was somehow easier or faster.
It wasn’t. I am improving with each book. And I need to remind myself of that.
Here’s the list of steps I’ve taken on D&D to get it this far:
- Brainstormed a lot of ideas
- Created a bare-bones outline with help of Hero’s Journey and lots of brainstorming.
- Wrote the concept sentence
- Wrote generic outline and more flushed-out outline (running the outline through its paces)
- Redid the outline following the 8-pt structure and again following the Hero’s Journey 12-point structure
- Gave detail to the outline, filling in the beats and making sure each chapter ended on a hook. I should have made sure every chapter opener also had a hook here, but I did that in edits.
- Wrote the entire book through dictation, mostly on the elliptical. I had to stop to fill out more beats frequently; writing is so much faster through dictation.
- 1st round of edits on hard copy. After the first chapter did 10 pages a day, entered edits when had extra time. (added 5,000+ words to first draft) 10 pages a day was often a stretch/challenge. It felt like I was changing everything.
- To beta readers after 1st round
- 2nd round edits, incorporated beta feedback with standard edit. Able to edit 20 pages a day, plus read the dialog aloud, read the entire chapter aloud, and do a “overused words” and spell check (the overused word checklist is about 20 words long for this book)
- To copyeditor
When I look at all the steps, some seem excessive. But, you guys, I’m so freaking proud of this book! I love it! And I think you will, too!